Do Lie Detection Tools Really Catch Liars?
A Guide for Forensic Professionals
Keywords:Lie detection, Decepetion, Verbal Credibility Assessment, Nonverbal Behavior, Forensic Context
Lying is ubiquitous in every society. However, in forensic contexts lies must be revealed so that investigations/judgments can be fair and effective. For this reason, distinct tools (verbal and nonverbal) of lie detection were examined. CBCA and RM showed the best performance in distinguishing between truth and lie within verbal tools. Lack of empirical support made SCAN not recommended for lie detection applications. Moreover, studies have shown that people guided by BAI are less accurate in detecting lies than untrained people. Ekman’s Deception Theory (EDT) showed more effective predictions about nonverbal deception cues than BAI. However, the lack of standardization in the use of EDT predictions to detect lies can be seen as a weakness of the method. Future efforts may be aimed at developing a tool that uses both verbal and nonverbal predictions to obtain greater accuracy in detecting lies than currently available methods.
Serban G. Lying: Man’s second nature. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger; 2001.
Kerr P. The Penguin Book of Lies. Penguin; 1991.
Vasconcellos SJL, Rizzatti M, Barbosa TP, Schmitz BS, Coelho VCN, MacHado A. Understanding lies based on evolutionary psychology: A critical review. Trends Psychol. 2019;27(1):141–53. https://doi.org/10.9788/TP2019.1-11
Vrij A. Detecting lies and deceit: Pitfalls and opportunities. John Wiley & Sons; 2008.
Stromwall LA, GRANHAG PA, HARTWIG M. Practitioners’ beliefs about deception. In: The detection of deception in forensic contexts. Cambridge University Press; 2004. p. 229–50. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511490071.010
Eichenbaum H, Bodkin A. Belief and knowledge as distinct forms of memory. In: Memory, brain, and belief. 2000. p. 176–207.
DePaulo BM, Stone JI, Lassiter GD. Telling Ingratiating Lies. Effects of Target Sex and Target Attractiveness on Verbal and Nonverbal Deceptive Success. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1985;48(5):1191–203. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35220.127.116.111
Kraut R. Humans as Lie Detectors. J Commun. 1980; https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.1980.tb02030.x
Zuckerman M, Koestner R, Driver R. Beliefs about cues associated with deception. J Nonverbal Behav. 1981;6(2):105–14. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00987286
DePaulo BM, Pfeifer RL. On‐the‐Job Experience and Skill at Detecting Deception. J Appl Soc Psychol. 1986; https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.1986.tb01138.x
Köhnken G. Training police officers to detect deceptive eyewitness statements: Does it work? Soc Behav. 1987;
Ekman P. Telling Lies: Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politics, and Marriage. New York W W Norton Ekman P. 2009.
Hartwig M, Voss JA. Lie detection guide: Theory and Practice for Investment Professionals. Career Resources; 2017. 104 p.
Gordon NJ, Fleisher WL. Effective Interviewing and Interrogation Techniques. Effective Interviewing and Interrogation Techniques. 2011. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-381986-4.00018-3
Kassin SM, Fong CT. “I’m innocent!”: Effects of training on judgments of truth and deception in the interrogation room. Law Hum Behav. 1999; https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022330011811
Mann S, Vrij A, Bull R. Detecting True Lies: Police Officers’ Ability to Detect Suspects’ Lies. J Appl Psychol. 2004; https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.89.1.137
Köhnken G. Behavioral Correlates of Statement Credibility: Theories, Paradigms, and Results. In 1989. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-86017-1_18
Vrij A, Semin GR. Lie experts’ beliefs about nonverbal indicators of deception. J Nonverbal Behav. 1996; https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02248715
Strömwall LA, Granhag PA. How to detect deception? Arresting the beliefs of police officers, prosecutors and judges. Psychol Crime Law. 2003; https://doi.org/10.1080/10683160308138
Garrido E, Masip J, Herrero C. Police officers’ credibility judgments: Accuracy and estimated ability. International Journal of Psychology. 2004. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207590344000411
Granhag PA, Strömwall LA. The detection of deception in forensic contexts. The Detection of Deception in Forensic Contexts. 2004. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511490071
Kassin S. True or false: ‘I’d know a false confession if I saw one.’ In: The Detection of Deception in Forensic Contexts. 2004. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511490071.008
Kassin SM, Wrightsman LS. The psychology of evidence and trial procedure. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage; 1985. 67–94 p.
Smith N. Reading Between the Lines : An Evaluation of the Scientific Content Analysis Technique (SCAN). 2001. 1–42 p.
Granhag PA, Vrij A, Verschuere B. Detecting Deception: Current Challenges and Cognitive Approaches. Detecting Deception: Current Challenges and Cognitive Approaches. 2015. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118510001
Oberlader VA, Naefgen C, Koppehele-Gossel J, Quinten L, Banse R, Schmidt AF. Validity of content-based techniques to distinguish true and fabricated statements: A meta-analysis. Law Hum Behav. 2016; https://doi.org/10.1037/lhb0000193
Driscoll LN. A validity assessment of written statements from suspects in criminal investigations using the scan technique. Police Stud Int’l Rev Police Dev. 1994;
Bachenko J, Fitzpatrick E, Schonwetter M. Verification and implementation of language-based deception indicators in civil and criminal narratives. In: Coling 2008 - 22nd International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Conference. 2008. https://doi.org/10.3115/1599081.1599087
Porter S, Yuille JC. The language of deceit: An investigation of the verbal clues to deception in the interrogation context. Law Hum Behav. 1996; https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01498980
Nahari G, Vrij A, Fisher RP. Does the truth come out in the writing? Scan as a lie detection tool. Law Hum Behav. 2012; https://doi.org/10.1037/h0093965
Vanderhallen M, Jaspaert E, Vervaeke G. SCAN as an investigative tool. Police Pract Res. 2016; https://doi.org/10.1080/15614263.2015.1008479
Bogaard G, Meijer EH, Vrij A, Merckelbach H. Scientific Content Analysis (SCAN) cannot distinguish between truthful and fabricated accounts of a negative event. Front Psychol. 2016; https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00243
Ruby CL, Brigham JC. The usefulness of the criteria-based content analysis technique in distinguishing between truthful and fabricated allegations: A critical review. Psychol Public Policy, Law. 1997; https://doi.org/10.1037/1076-8918.104.22.1685
Vrij A, Akehurst L, Soukara S, Bull R. Will the truth come out? The effect of deception, age, status, coaching, and social skills on CBCA scores. Law Hum Behav. 2002; https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1015313120905
Köhnken G. Statement validity analysis and the ‘detection of the truth.’ In: The Detection of Deception in Forensic Contexts. 2004. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511490071.003
Undeutsch U. Beurteilung der Glaubhaftigkeit von Aussagen. In: Handbuch der Psychologie Bd 11: Forensische Psychologie. 1967.
Steller M, Köhnken G. Statement analysis: Credibility assessment of children’s testimonies in sexual abuse cases. In: Psychological methods in criminal investigation and evidence. 1989. p. 217–45.
Vrij A. Criteria-based content analysis: A qualitative review of the first 37 studies. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. 2005. https://doi.org/10.1037/1076-8922.214.171.124
Esplin PW, Boychuk T, Raskin DC. A field validity study of criteria-based content analysis of children’s statements in sexual abuse cases. In: NATO advanced study institute on credibility assessment. Maratea, Italy; 1988.
Craig RA, Scheibe R, Raskin DC, Kircher JC, Dodd DH. Interviewer questions and content analysis of children’s statements of sexual abuse. Appl Dev Sci. 1999; https://doi.org/10.1207/s1532480xads0302_2
Parker AD, Brown J. Detection of deception: Statement validity analysis as a means of determining truthfulness or falsity of rape allegations. Leg Criminol Psychol. 2000; https://doi.org/10.1348/135532500168119
Rassin E, Van Der Sleen J. Characteristics of true versus false allegations of sexual offences. Psychological Reports. 2005. https://doi.org/10.2466/PR0.97.6.589-598
Roma P, Martini PS, Sabatello U, Tatarelli R, Ferracuti S. Validity of Criteria-Based Content Analysis (CBCA) at trial in free-narrative interviews. Child Abus Negl. 2011; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2011.04.004
Lamb ME, Sternberg KJ, Esplin PW, Hershkowitz I, Orbach Y, Hovav M. Criterion-based content analysis: A field validation study. Child Abus Negl. 1997; https://doi.org/10.1016/S0145-2134(96)00170-6
Akehurst L, Manton S, Quandte S. Careful calculation or a leap of faith? A field study of the translation of CBCA ratings to final credibility judgements. Appl Cogn Psychol. 2011; https://doi.org/10.1002/acp.1669
Manzanero AL, Scott MT, Vallet R, Aróztegui J, Bull R. Criteria-based Content Analysis in True and Simulated Victims with Intellectual Disability. Anu Psicol Juridica. 2019; https://doi.org/10.5093/apj2019a1
Dukala K, Sporer SL, Polczyk R. Detecting deception: does the cognitive interview impair discrimination with CBCA criteria in elderly witnesses?*. Psychol Crime Law. 2019; https://doi.org/10.1080/1068316X.2018.1511789
Johnson MK, Raye CL. Reality monitoring. Psychol Rev. 1981; https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.88.1.67
Johnson MK, Foley MA, Suengas AG, Raye CL. Phenomenal Characteristics of Memories for Perceived and Imagined Autobiographical Events. J Exp Psychol Gen. 1988; https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-34126.96.36.1991
Masip J, Sporer SL, Garrido E, Herrero C. The detection of deception with the reality monitoring approach: A review of the empirical evidence. Psychol Crime Law. 2005; https://doi.org/10.1080/10683160410001726356
Sporer SL. The less travelled road to truth: verbal cues in deception detection in accounts of fabricated and self-experienced events. Appl Cogn Psychol. 1997; https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-0720(199710)11:5<373::AID-ACP461>3.0.CO;2-0
Nahari G, Vrij A, Fisher RP. Exploiting liars’ verbal strategies by examining the verifiability of details. Leg Criminol Psychol. 2014;
Nahari G. Reality Monitoring in the Forensic Context: Digging Deeper into the Speech of Liars. J Appl Res Mem Cogn. 2018; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jarmac.2018.04.003
Elntib S, Wagstaff G. Are reality monitoring differences between truthful and deceptive autobiographical accounts affected by standardisation for word-count and the presence of others? Psychol Crime Law. 2017; https://doi.org/10.1080/1068316X.2017.1298762
Bogaard G, Meijer EH, Vrij A. Using an example statement increases information but does not increase accuracy of CBCA, RM, and SCAN. J Investig Psychol Offender Profiling. 2014; https://doi.org/10.1002/jip.1409
Inbau FE, Reid JE, Buckley JP, Jayne BC. Essentials of the Reid technique. Jones & Bartlett Publishers; 2013.
Colwell LH, Miller HA, Lyons PM, Miller RS. The Training of Law Enforcement Officers in Detecting Deception: A Survey of Current Practices and Suggestions for Improving Accuracy. Police Q. 2006; https://doi.org/10.1177/1098611104273293
Vrij A, Hartwig M, Granhag PA. Reading Lies: Nonverbal Communication and Deception. Annu Rev Psychol. 2019; ttps://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-010418-103135
Vrij A, Fisher RP. Which Lie Detection Tools are Ready for Use in the Criminal Justice System? Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition. 2016. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jarmac.2016.06.014
Vrij A, Mann S, Fisher RP. An empirical test of the behaviour analysis interview. Law Hum Behav. 2006; https://doi.org/10.1007/s10979-006-9014-3
Horvath F, Jayne B, Buckley J. Differentiation of Truthful and Deceptive Criminal Suspects in Behavior Analysis Interviews. J Forensic Sci. 1994; https://doi.org/10.1520/JFS13657J
Ekman P, Friesen W V. Nonverbal Leakage and Clues to Deception. Psychiatry. 1969; https://doi.org/10.1037/e525532009-012
Ekman P, Friesen W V. Hand Movements. J Commun. 1972; https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.1972.tb00163.x
Ekman P, Friesen W V., Scherer KR. Body movement and voice pitch in deceptive interaction. Semiotica. 1976; https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.19188.8.131.52
Ekman P, O’Sullivan M, Friesen W V., Scherer KR. Invited article: Face, voice, and body in detecting deceit. J Nonverbal Behav. 1991; https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00998267
DePaulo BM, Lindsay JJ, Malone BE, Muhlenbruck L, Charlton K, Cooper H. Cues to deception. Psychol Bull. 2003; https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.129.1.74
Svetieva E. Deception and the body: Replicating, improving and extending analyses of bodily movement in deception. State University of New York at Buffalo; 2010.
Ekman P, Hager JC, Friesen W V. The Symmetry of Emotional and Deliberate Facial Actions. Psychophysiology. 1981; https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8986.1981.tb02919.x
Ekman P, Friesen W V. Felt, false, and miserable smiles. J Nonverbal Behav. 1982; https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00987191
Frank MG, Ekman P, Friesen W V. Behavioral Markers and Recognizability of the Smile of Enjoyment. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1993; https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.206
Ekman P, Freisen W V., Ancoli S. Facial signs of emotional experience. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1980; https://doi.org/10.1037/h0077722
Ekman P, Friesen W V., O’Sullivan M. Smiles When Lying. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1988; https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35220.127.116.114
Ekman P, O’Sullivan M. Who Can Catch a Liar? Am Psychol. 1991; https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.46.9.913
Frank MG, Ekman P. The ability to detect deceit generalizes across different types of high-stake lies. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1997; https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.1689
Henig RM. Looking for the lie. New York Times Magazine. 2006;47–53.
Nortje A, Tredoux C. How good are we at detecting deception? A review of current techniques and theories. South African J Psychol. 2019; https://doi.org/10.1177/0081246318822953
Porter S, Ten Brinke L. Reading Between the Lies Identifying Concealed and Falsified Emotions in Universal Facial Expressions. Psychol Sci. 2008; https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02116.x
Porter S, ten Brinke L, Wallace B. Secrets and Lies: Involuntary Leakage in Deceptive Facial Expressions as a Function of Emotional Intensity. J Nonverbal Behav. 2012; https://doi.org/10.1007/s10919-011-0120-7
Porter S, Brinke L ten, Baker A, Wallace B. Would I lie to you? “leakage” in deceptive facial expressions relates to psychopathy and emotional intelligence. Pers Individ Dif. 2011; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2011.03.031
Vrij A, Granhag PA. Eliciting cues to deception and truth: What matters are the questions asked. J Appl Res Mem Cogn. 2012; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jarmac.2012.02.004
Matsumoto D, Hwang HC. Microexpressions differentiate truths from lies about future malicious intent. Front Psychol. 2018; https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02545
Su L, Levine M. Does “lie to me” lie to you? An evaluation of facial clues to high-stakes deception. Comput Vis Image Underst. 2016; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cviu.2016.01.009
Matsumoto D, Hwang HS. Evidence for training the ability to read microexpressions of emotion. Motiv Emot. 2011; https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-011-9212-2
Vrij A, Edward K, Roberts KP, Bull R. Detecting deceit via analysis of verbal and nonverbal behavior. J Nonverbal Behav. 2000;
Matsumoto D, Hwang HC. Clusters of Nonverbal Behaviors Differ According to Type of Question and Veracity in Investigative Interviews in a Mock Crime Context. J Police Crim
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2020 Brazilian Journal of Forensic Sciences, Medical Law and Bioethics
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.